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breezy posted a topic in SCIENCE FUTURESBy Betsy Oskin December 16, 2013 SAN FRANCISCO — A wild weather phenomenon that causes massive winter flooding in California also dumps snow in East Antarctica, wetting one of the driest places on Earth, researchers said here Thursday (Dec. 12) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. This is the first time scientists have spotted an atmospheric river snaking from the Indian Ocean south to Antarctica. Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow water vapor plumes stretching hundreds of miles across the sky. California weather forecasters call them the "Pineapple Express," known for transporting tropical moisture from Hawaii to the West Coast during winter. But the weather pattern can appear any time of the year, and atmospheric rivers have been spotted dropping rain and snow in Europe and even in the Arctic. Researcher Maria Tsukernik and her colleagues discovered Antarctica's atmospheric rivers because of incredibly high snowfall recorded May 19, 2009, at a weather station in East Antarctica's Dronning Maud Land. On May 19, 2009, Belgium's brand-new Princess Elisabeth weather station recorded about 1.6 inches (40 millimeters) of snow from two big storms. Two more atmospheric rivers followed, in June and July, bringing the most snow to Dronning Maud Land since satellite tracking of yearly snow levels started in 1979. [In Photos: The Coldest Places on Earth] Nearly 10 inches (250 millimeters) of snow fell in 2009, a record dumping not seen in the past 60 years, according to snow cores, which were detailed in a separate study published May 10 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. After July 2009, the weather station saw almost no snowfall until October 2010. "This sector has the least amount of moisture transported into the continental interior, and all of a sudden it had a very big anomaly in 2009," said Tsukernik, an atmospheric scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. snip http://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/cassava-express-1st-antarctica-atmospheric-river-found-174325707.html